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Epson AcuLaser M2400D A4 Mono Laser Printer
Epson AcuLaser M2400D A4 Mono Laser Printer
Offered by IvoryEgg Limited
Price: 191.02

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Printer (with Duplex) would Recommend, 18 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This "Epson AcuLaser M2400D" printer is a good printer that I would recommend. I have tested the printer as working well with Microsoft Office Word, Notepad, WordPad and Foxit Phantom (pdf application). (It did not work well with Treepad, though that is a software issue NOT a printer issue - see below for details.) Printout is fast - way faster than my old HP DeskJet printer - and the print quality is excellent. Connection from the computer to the printer is via USB or a printer parallel port (if your computer has one). Note that you do not get any connection cables, USB or parallel, with the printer - only the power supply lead. I connected via USB and the printer works well in every way. Considering the price, I would have recommended the printer on print quality and speed alone. However, you also get 'duplex' printing (double-sided printing) thrown in and on that basis, at the price, I would recommend this printer highly. (No more struggling to get double-sided printing done out of a single-sided-only printer.)

Installing drivers from the drivers CD is very easy. Just launch "EPSetup.exe" on the CD and you are presented with two install options. The first option is "Easy Install". Easy Install will install all components of the driver software list. Here is a list of the components:

1. Printer Driver
2. Epson Status Monitor
3. Epson BarCode Font
4. Epson Web-To-Page
5. EpsonNet Config
6. EpsonNet Print

For straightforward users of a home printer the BarCode Font, EpsonNet Config and EsponNet Print might be beyond your requirements. I think they're really aimed at businesses that would want to deal with BarCodes and have multiple computers connected to a single printer - really the kind of network thing that you might have in a full-blown office environment.

If you don't need components like that installed to your system choose the second installer option "Software List". On clicking that option a dialogue window appears where you can select what components you want to install. From that window you can only install one component at a time. So you just step through the components you want to install, highlighting one at a time, then click "Next", then, when that one is finished installing, highlight the next one you want to install - and so on.

I only installed the "Printer Driver", "Epson Status Monitor" and "Epson Web-To-Page". Web-To-Page actually gets installed to Internet Explorer. It is meant to be an easy way to printout webpages and get the printout looking good on the size of paper you are using at your printer. It's a very useful IE plug-in and does its job well. (I'd note that Epson Web-to-Page is available as a freeware download on the internet for anyone that wants to give it try - you don't need to have an Epson printer to use it.)

(The drivers CD also contains PostScript drivers. I don't have a use for that but as far as I could see if you need to use PostScript drivers you would have to manually install them yourself. A word of warning though, the printer manual states that you should not install the PostScript printer drivers and "Epson Status Monitor" to the same system - doing so risks damaging the printer and/or your system.)

I'd give Epson full marks for the thoughtfulness of their driver CD; it gives the user full control over what components to install or not install. Into the bargain it doesn't dump a load of useless self-advertising crud onto the system. This was so different from my old HP DeskJet driver CD, and it is an issue worth commenting on. Full marks to Epson on that one, may they never stop doing things that way.

The printer comes with a 1 year on-site warranty. However, owing to the way that Epson deals with this, you will need to contact Epson and make sure you get the printer properly registered with them. You will have to do this via Epson Support via 'chat', email or phone call. Tip 1: you will have to email Epson Support a copy of your Amazon receipt that came with the printer. When the printer is delivered from Amazon check the outer packaging very carefully for a 'Documents Enclosed' envelope, the receipt will be in there, not inside the printer box. Tip 2: among other details you will need the printer's "serial number". That number is not on any physical label on the printer. To get the number, after installing the printer's drivers, press the 'I'(nformation) button on the printer's control panel - it will printout a page of paper on which you will see the serial number at the bottom of the page. (For a fee you can upgrade the warranty to 3 years on-site. You can upgrade the warranty at any time during the first year of the printer.)

My one grouse concerning this printer really concerns a software program that I use an awful lot that doesn't work well with the printer. I would emphasise that the problem lies WITH THE SOFTWARE and NOT with the printer. If like me you use the program "Treepad" then you will experience the following problem. On trying to printout an 'article' (document) from Treepad the printer and 'Epson Status Monitor' will give "Out of Paper" error indications. So, naturally, you go look in the printer's lower paper cartridge (Epson calls this the "Standard Lower Paper Cassette" (SLPC)) and check. You discover that it actually has several hundred pages of paper in it. You try to printout out again from Treepad - you get the same result - "Out of Paper".

What is actually happening is that when Treepad tries to printout it is sending data to the printer part of which is telling the printer that it MUST printout from paper loaded into the printer's Multi-Purpose Tray (MPT). This MPT is a drop-down tray into which, normally, you would just load paper (or envelopes, whatever), that is a different size or type of paper from that which you have in the SLPC. The MPT is a utility tray for infrequent odd print jobs, it can hold around 3 dozen or so pages of paper at a time.

So, if you want to printout directly from Treepad, you MUST remember to drop-down the MPT and load it with paper. If you don't do this you will get 'Out of Paper' errors. Another option would be to open a new MS Word document, copy and paste your Treepad article into the Word document, and then printout the Word document - the printout will go to the SLPC so you don't have to drop-down and load the MPT. All this said, it doesn't take all that long to load the MPT, so this is an irritating inconvenience rather than a major tragedy.

When I first came across this problem I very nearly sent the printer back as faulty. Now I'm glad I persevered and found out what it really was. So, if you run across this problem with Treepad don't send the printer back as faulty for that reason.

(I emailed Treepad Support about this issue but got no response from them. So, presumably, Treepad really don't care all that much. Pity because it is a brilliant program that over the years I've found myself using more and more often than I use MS Word.)

In any case, I find this is a very good printer that I would recommend. You can also easily get reduced price toner cartridges for it at big discounts from the Epson official cartridges - a strong consideration of mine for the purchase in the first place.

Lemmings for Windows (PC)
Lemmings for Windows (PC)

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun for All Ages. Works on Windows XP, 8 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a very addictive game in which you have to lead lots of lemmings, past obstacles, into lemming heaven. Sounds simple but can be head-scratchingly difficult at times. You can drag the game folder off the CD and put it anywhere on your hard-drive - you don't have to use the CD. You can also rename the folder to anything you want. I've tried running it on WinXP and it works fine with one stumbling block to avoid:

If you want to play the game and have it use a window bigger than the default size then you MUST use the File Menu entry File\Set Options... When the dialogue box opens you will see entries for "Graphics Options". There you MUST choose "High Resolution". If you don't do that and make the game window bigger than the default then the program will bomb-out as soon as you try to play any level. This might lead some people to think that the game doesn't work on their system, chances are it does - just make that setting if you want to use a larger than default window size (you will).

Another thing worth mentioning is that Lemmings is said to have hundreds of levels to work your way through. However, when you first go to play the game you only get offered one level (in each of the categories) to play. This doesn't mean you have been sold short. You have to complete one level before the next level is offered to play. (So the level list gets longer and longer as you play your way through them.)

The game is capable of being used as a portable. Do the following to make it as portable as possible without actually making a full-blown portable package of it:

1) Drag the folder "WINLEMM" on the CD to wherever you want on the hard-drive. You can rename the folder to anything you want - I used "Lemmings for Windows". Now open the folder and launch LEMMINGS.EXE

2) You will be asked to register, just type whatever name you like. And okay that name. That name will be added to the player list.

3) You will get a message saying "Unable to install the uninstall program. Just okay this and forget it.

4) Now use the File Menu and make what settings you want (remember the advice above if you want to use a larger than default window). If you want to use a large window then resize the window now. Now exit the program.

5) The program will have created a folder in the following path:
C:\Program Files\WinLemm
Copy that WinLemm folder into the folder you launched LEMMINGS.EXE from. Then delete the folder in Program Files.

6) The program will have created a key in the registry (with some sub-keys) at the following key:

7) Run regedit, go into the registry and drill to the following key:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Visual Sciences\Windows Lemmings\Users\[WhatEverNameYouRegisteredTheProgram]
and look for the value "DatabaseName"

8) Double-click on that value and enter in the FULL PATH to the "usr00000.db" - it will be in "WinLemm" folder you just copied over into your Lemmings folder.

9) That's all you need to do to make it portable. Apart from the registry entry for "Visual Sciences" it won't, now, create any files on your boot partition and will use the user database (usr00000.db) in the new location.

10) While you're in the registry if you want to save your settings for future use then just export the "Visusal Sciences" key out of the registry, then drop it into your Lemmings folder. Now you can use that registry file (just right-click on it an select 'Merge') if you ever have the misfortune of having to reinstall your system - just merge the registry file and you are good to go with your portable Lemmings and you won't have lost any of your valuable already done levels.

You don't have to do steps 1-10 if you're happy with the game writing one folder and two files to your boot partition. And if you're happy with losing all your Lemmings levels if your boot partition ever totals.

Dell Ultrasharp U2312HM 23 inch IPS LED Monitor
Dell Ultrasharp U2312HM 23 inch IPS LED Monitor

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Monitor. Very Pleased with the Purchase, 6 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a very good monitor which I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. For people that are coming from a square monitor to a wide screen monitor and wondering if it is a wise, or useful, choice I would say don't hesitate. I can do work in the wide screen in ways that I just couldn't do with my old square screen. For example, work on two documents side-by-side on the screen - really is a huge improvement. Watching wide-screen movies is greatly improved as well.

To install the basic driver for the monitor in Windows read the document "Readme_U2312HM.txt" that comes on the CD provided with monitor. That document has an error in detailing the path to the driver. In the document you are told to look for XP or Vista drivers folders. Those folders do not exist on the CD. The path you will really be looking for would be [CDDriveLabel]:\drivers\. Just get Windows to Search in that "drivers" folder and Windows will find and install the driver for you. Manually installing the driver in this way will give you all normal functions you would expect of a monitor including 'sleep mode'. If you want to use the monitor in 'Portrait Mode' then you would make that setting in the Control Panel of your graphics chip driver (which will already be installed on your system - you don't have to install additional software to achieve this). I would note that when I first installed this driver the monitor was set to refresh at a rate of 75Hz. This was wrong and produced some strange lighting effects on the screen. After you have installed the driver reboot your system, then go and double-check the monitor is refreshing at 60Hz. Once I did that the strange lighting issues disappeared. Then all you need to do is set the monitor resolution to 1920 x 1080 and you are done with dealing with the driver.

However, I would note that if you're running Windows and don't have Microsoft's "ClearType Tuner" installed on your system then go to the Microsoft website and search for it (it's free). Download and install it. It will install as "ClearType Tuning" in your 'Control Panel'. Once installed launch it from the Control Panel. You will see two tabs "Advanced" and "Introduction". Deal with the settings in Advanced first. You'll want to select that you want to use 'ClearType' and generally selecting the highest (darkest) Contrast setting works best. For 'LCD Screen Striping' you'll want RGB. Once you've done the Advanced settings click 'Apply'. Now goto the Introduction tab and step your way through the Wizard. Once you have made the settings you want you will find that text display on the monitor improves very dramatically.

There are other drivers "PowerNap" and "Entech API" that you can install for the monitor as well. These drivers provide (apparently) advanced sleep mode functions. Specifically they allow a 'dim screen on sleep' mode - so the monitor dims rather than just switching into standby for sleep mode. To install them click on "monitor.exe" on the monitor CD and follow the install procedure that is presented to you. You need to watch this. If your system is set up to 'Auto-play' CDs then on inserting the CD "monitor.exe" will be automatically launched and these drivers (not the basic driver) will be the ones you are being invited to install. However, if like me, you don't want Microsoft .NET on your system then you should be aware that installing these drivers will automatically install .NET as well. I haven't installed these drivers (only the basic driver) on my own system and the monitor works fine in every way. I looked at the Dell website for information on these drivers and one of the tech guys there reports them as bloatware - let Windows deal with the power management functions. There were also a couple of accounts there of people installing these drivers and running into problems. So, don't install these additional drivers, you don't really need them anyway.

Note that if you are buying from Amazon, and possibly other third-party sellers, you won't get a "Service Tag" with the monitor. This means you can't check your warranty status at the Dell website. I phoned Dell. (Tip: when making the call select that you bought the monitor from Dell - even though you didn't. If you don't do that you get an automated run-around that in the end gives you an automated message to contact the company you bought the monitor from regarding your enquiry.)

By the end of the call I found out that (even though I had bought the monitor from Amazon) I did have a 3 year warranty. However, there is a slight catch. If you don't have an "Order No" then Dell will start the warranty period from the date the monitor was Manufactured (this is given on the back of the monitor). If you do have an Order No. then your warranty, for 3 years, will start from the date of the "Invoice Date" on the receipt you get from Amazon. In my case I found the Order No. on a label on the Dell box the monitor came in (study the box carefully and see if you can spot that number). The woman I spoke with took that number and some contact details and then (at my request) gave me a direct phone number to contact if ever I needed to claim under warranty. So seems you do have a 3 year warranty even though you bought from Amazon (which is as things should be), but I'd strongly recommend phoning Dell and checking up when you receive the monitor.

Again, find this a great monitor and am very happy with the purchase.

LG GH24NS90.AUAA50B 24x SATA Bare Internal DVD Rewriter - Black
LG GH24NS90.AUAA50B 24x SATA Bare Internal DVD Rewriter - Black

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works Out of the Box - Can Burn 'M-DISC' DVD's, 18 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Just recently bought this DVD drive via Amazon (to replace a Sony one I bought but that failed to work well).

What you get is the bare drive. So you need sata cables, screws to fix it in your box and software to manage the burning. The illustration that Amazon currently has of the drive is a bit dated. Specifications for the drive, available from LG, state the drive can write to M-DISC, long-life type, 'DVDS'. (I don't know if you need special software to do that or if the drive natively recognises and powers the laser to burn an M-DISC.) When you get the drive from Amazon you will notice that in addition to the 'Super-Multi illustration there is an 'M-DISC' illustration on the tray front of the drive.

In my system, WinXP, the drive works in every way I'd expect it to do. Good basic drive and I'm looking forward to getting some of my more valuable DVD's, that I can't afford to lose, burnt onto M-Discs - once they become affordable that is.

Mantra - Sacred Words of Power
Mantra - Sacred Words of Power
Price: 48.83

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Place to Start with Mantra Work, 18 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this via Amazon quite some time ago now (a few years). It was my introduction to constructing a thoroughgoing mantra disipline for myself and, looking back, I don't think I could have started in a better place for self-study of mantras. Among other things, it covers seed sounds for chakras and there are a large number of mantras, for many different circumstances/applications, discussed and illustrated in terms of history and how to repeat the mantra.

In all the presentation of the material is pretty well geared to westerners making a first approach to mantra work. You do not need to take on a load of religious baggage that you may or may not agree with to do mantra work. As Mr. Ashley-Farrand makes clear you can do mantras no matter what religious affiliations you may have, and many people do just that; mantras work, no matter what you believe. You can do mantras at any time. Informally while cleaning the car, doing the housework - whatever. You can also do them as part of more formal seated meditation practice; doing this and repeating the mantra silently in your mind is a particularly powerful way to work with mantras.

Working from the content of the CD's I have now done several 'mantra siddhis' - mantra siddhis are prolonged work with a single choosen mantra - and the effects on my subtle body have been nothing short of amazing. Try it with focus for a year or two and, if what happened to me is anything to go by, you will be in for surprises on the way. Especially so if you go for mantra siddhi's with the mantras that appeal most to you.

I couldn't recommend this CD set highly enough; they are highly practical guides to getting you working with mantras. Even though the main tack of the CD's works as an introduction to mantra I'm sure it would be of great interest to beginners and to seasoned practitioners alike. If you find that you really like working with mantras and want a forum to discuss aspects of mantra work as taught by Thomas Ashley-Farrand then there is a Yahoo Group called "SanskritMantras" which you can join (if you want to post in the group) and get involved with other like-minded people.

Here is a copy of the list of content provided with the CD's (Though more is covered than just that indicated by the titles. At all times mantras are being introduced that you might want to work with.):

Disc 1
The origins of mantra
The vedic science of sound
The mysteries of the cave of the heart
The origins of mantra
The Purusha Suktum
Sanskrit - an energy-based language
Seed sound mantras
Invoking the power of the seed sound
The Ganesha seed sound for removing obstacles
The seed sound for Shiva: the consciousness of the universe
Chakra-based seed sounds

Disc 2
Karma and mantras
Seven essential principles of mantra practice
Karma from the vedic perspective
Mantra practice and the planetary energies
Practical tools for spiritual discipline
Brahma and Narayana mantras
Brahma mantra for understanding divine knowledge
A mantra for influencing time
The hymn of Naryana meditation

Disc 3
The avatar mantras
The story of the Ten Avatars of Vishnu
Narayana sets his plan into motion
Narasimha, the 4th avatar
A Narasimha mantra for insurmountable problems
Vamana, the 5th avatar
Rama, the 7th avatar
Ravana abducts Sita
A Rama mantra for liberation
Krishna, the 8th avatar
Buddha, the 9th avatar

Disc 4
The feminine principle in mantra practice
Power as a feminine force
The power of the divine Shakti
Lakshmi: the power of abundance
Durga: the divine protector
Saraswati: the goddess of speech
The Shri Chakra mantra: the feminine force throughout the universe
The masculine principle in mantra practice
The various names of Shiva
Shiva Lingaraj and Shiva Nataraj
Shiva Mahakala
The Skhanda and Paravati good-luck mantra

Disc 5
Mantras and health
The Saturn and Ganesha mantras
The celestial physician's Dhanvantre mantra
Two Sun mantras: Rama and Guha
The Apadamapa mantra
The Markandaya mantra
Mantras for planetary effects on the body
Mantra attunements
Apadamapa attunement (to Rama)
Markandaya attunement )to Shiva)
Gayatri attunement (to Divine Light)

Disc 6
Tibetan Buddhist mantras
The origins of Tibetan Buddhism
Deities of Tibetan mantras
The Om Mani Padme Hum mantra
Gurus and spiritual teachers
The Gayatri mantra
The origins of the Gayatri mantra
The long and short forms of the Gayatri mantra
What do you want to become?


Bridgedale Woolfusion Summit Knee Men's Sock - Grey/Blue, 9-11.5
Bridgedale Woolfusion Summit Knee Men's Sock - Grey/Blue, 9-11.5

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Comfortable Knee Length Sock with Very Good Sole Cushioning, 18 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
(In case anyone is wondering these "Woolfusion Summit Knee" socks are the same sock that Bridgedale made under the name "Endurance Summit Knee". Bridgedale has just done a exercise of renaming their range of socks so they are producing the same socks under slightly different names.)

These socks are extremely good knee-length socks. Once you put the socks on they don't fall down. The cushioning of the sock is superb. So much so that, if like me, you have corns on the soles and callouses on the side of your feet then that cushioning really does make it possible to enjoy walking again - it's that good. I thank the heavens for Bridgedale producing such a well cushioned long length sock.

One point worth mentioning is that when you first take the socks out of the packaging you will notice that to either side of toes there is the tip of a seam that sticks out. Even when you put the socks on for the first time those seams still stick out. This might make you think that there is no way these socks are going to be comfortable. Don't worry about about it; don't send the socks back for that reason. After a day of wear those stick-out bits just disappear; the seam tips in no way interfere with the comfort of the socks. Once the seam tips have disappeared they don't come back again, even after the socks are washed.

I now have several pairs of these excellent long socks, and intend to buy more (in case Bridgedale ever make the mistake of discontinuing them in the future). They really do contribute to comfort while walking, highly recommended. Huge "thank you" to Bridgedale for producing them and to Amazon for selling them.

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